The Skin Journal
How to support your eczema flare ups without steroids?
Chiquanna “Chi” Villines spent the majority of her life thinking there was only one way to treat her eczema: by using topical steroids. But when that treatment method stopped working for her, she got off of it and began exploring alternative healing modalities to better her skin.
Chi has had eczema since she was 8 or 9 months old. For the first 14 years of her life, it greatly limited her social interactions, because so many environmental factors triggered her skin. It wasn’t until a doctor prescribed her topical steroids as a pre-teen that she began to live a life that was more “normal.”
Chi: It got to the point where i just couldn’t do anything. I was always going to the doctor and was in and out of the hospital constantly.
I could never concentrate in school and was always itching and scratching, especially on my neck. It was just very disruptive. My mom would often pick me up from school early and I could never really finish a whole day. It just took me a long time to catch up because I lost so many days of school.
Now I’ve started to use Bodewell, which, I admit, I was so scared to do at first. I feel like I have a little PTSD about putting anything topical on my skin after the steroids. But I've been using the serum on my face and the super cream on the bottoms of my legs and it's like...wow. My skin is so clear and I like the texture and how it makes my skin feel very sleek.
What I’ve learned is that for me, I really think that less is more.
The fewer products I use, the better it is for my skin because it needs to learn how to moisturize itself after being suppressed for so long.
For me, there are honestly days when my eczema is so bad and I’m like: This is not going to get better! But there are also days when I’m like: Honestly, I can’t believe that I'll leave my house and won't put on steroid cream. It was a part of my life for years, ever since I can remember. I’d have to take it everywhere. But it doesn't control my life anymore.
Now I know and I trust that one day my skin will be better, just like I’m better now than I was last year. I feel like I'm going to continue to get better and better, and hopefully my flares start getting easier to manage and not as bad. So that’s what I tell myself: It’s only temporary, Chi. It's not going to be like this forever.